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returned on my arrival. Her broken accents were like those of a child, the language as well as the tones broken, but in the most gentle voice of submission. "Poor mamma-never return again-gone for ever-a better place." Then, when she came to herself, she spoke with sense, freedom, and strength of mind, till her weakness returned. It would have been inexpressibly moving to me as a strangerwhat was it then to the father and the husband? For myself, I scarce know how I feel; sometimes as firm as the Bass Rock, some times as weak as the water that breaks on it. I am as alert at thinking and deciding as I ever was in my life. Yet, when I contrast what this place now is, with what it has been not long since, I think my heart will break. Lonely, aged, deprived of my family-all but poor Anne; an impoverished, an embarrassed man, deprived of the sharer of my thoughts and counsels, who could always talk down my sense of the calamitous apprehensions which break the heart that must bear them alone.Even her foibles were of service to me, by giving me things to think of beyond my weary self-reflections.

"I have seen her. The figure I beheld is, and is not my Charlotte-my thirty years' companion. There is the same symmetry of form, though those limbs are rigid which were once so gracefully elastic-but that yellow mask, with pinched features, which seems to mock life rather than emulate it, can it be the face that was once so full of lively expression? I will not look on it again. Anne thinks her little changed, because the latest idea she had formed of her mother is as she appeared under circumstances of extreme pain. Mine go back to a period of comparative ease. If I write long in this way, I shall write down my resolution, which I should rather write up, if I could."

"May 18.-.

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"Edinburgh, May 30.-Returned to town last night with Charles. This morning resume ordinary habits of rising early, working in the morning, and attending the Court."• • «I finished correcting the proofs for the Quarterly; it is but a flimsy article, but then the circumstances were most untoward. This has been a melancholy day-most melancholy. I am afraid poor Charles found me weeping. I do not know what other folks feel, but with me the hysterical passion that impels tears is a terrible violence-a sort of throttling sensa tion-then succeeded by a state of dreaming stupidity, in which I ask if my poor Charlotte can actually be dead."-Vol. vi. pp. 297, 307.

This is beautiful as well as tragical. Other scenes, in that Seventh Volume, must come, which will have no beauty, but be tragical only. It is better that we are to end here.

And so the curtain falls; and the strong Walter Scott is with us no more. A possession from him does remain; widely scattered; yet attainable; not inconsiderable. It can be said of him, "when he departed he took a Man's life along with him." No sounder piece of British manhood was put together in that eighteenth century of time. Alas, his fine Scotch face, with its shaggy honesty, sagacity, and goodness, when we saw it latterly on the Edinburgh streets, was all worn with care, the joy all fled from it;-ploughed deep with labour and sorrow. We shall never forget it;

Cerements of lead and of wood already hold her; cold earth must have her soon. But it is not my Charlotte, it is not the bride of my youth, the mother of my chil-we shall never see it again. Adien, Sir Waldren, that will be laid among the ruins of Dry- ter, pride of all Scotchmen, take our proud and burgh, which we have so often visited in gaye- sad farewell. ty and pastime. No, no."

VARNHAGEN VON ENSE'S MEMOIRS.*

[LONDON AND WESTMINSTER REVIEW, 1838.]

THE Lady Rahel, or Rachel, surnamed Levin | many." Nine volumes of Memoirs cut of in her maiden days, who died some five years Berlin will surely contain something for us. ago as Madam Varnhagen von Ense, seems to be still memorable and notable, or to have become more than ever so, among our German friends. The widower, long known in Berlin and Germany for an intelligent and estimable man, has here published successively, as author, or as editor and annotator, so many volumes, nine in all, about her, about himself, and the things that occupied and environed them. Nine volumes, properly, of German Memoirs; of letters, of miscellanies, biographical and autobiographical; which we have read not without zeal and diligence, and in part with great pleasure. It seems to us that such of our readers as take interest in things German, ought to be apprized of this publication; and withal that there are in it enough of things European and universal to furnish out a few pages for readers not specially of that

class.

Samuel Johnson, or perhaps another, used. to say, there was no man on the streets whose biography he would not like to be acquainted with. No rudest mortal walking there who has not seen and known experimentally something, which, could he tell it, the wisest would hear willingly from him! Nay, after all that can be said and celebrated about poetry, eloquence, and the higher forms of composition and utterance; is not the primary use of speech itself this same, to utter memoirs, that is, memorable experiences to our fellow-creatures? A fact is a fact; man is for ever the brother of man. That thou, Oh my brother, impart to me truly how it stands with thee in that inner man of thine, what lively images of things passed thy memory has painted there; what hopes, what thoughts, affections, know, ledges, do now dwell there: for this and for no other object that I can see, was the gift of speech and of hearing bestowed on us two. I say not how thou feignest. Thy fictions, and thousand and one Arabian Nights, promulgated as fictions, what are they also at bottom but this, things that are in thee, though only images of things? But to bewilder me with falsehoods, indeed; to ray out error and darkness,-misintelligence, which means misattainment, otherwise failure and sorrow; to go about confusing worse our poor world's confusion, and, as a son of Nox and Chaos, propagate delirium on earth: not surely with this view, but with a far different one, was that miraculous tongue suspended in thy head, and set vibrating there! In a word, do not two things, veracity and memoir-writing, seem to be prescribed by Nature herself and the very constitution of man? Let us read, therefore, according to opportunity,—and, with judicious audacity, review!

One may hope, Germany is no longer to any person that vacant land, of gray vapour and chimeras, which it was to most Englishmen, not many years ago. One may hope that, as readers of German have increased a hundredfold, some partial intelligence of Germany, some interest in things German, may have increased in a proportionably higher ratio. At all events, Memoirs of men, German or other, will find listeners among men. Sure enough, Berlin city, on the sandy banks of the Spree, is a living city, even as London is, on the muddy banks of Thames. Daily, with every rising of the blessed heavenly light, Berlin sends up the smoke of a hundred thousand kindled hearths, the fret and stir of five hundred thousand new-awakened human souls; -marking or defacing with such smoke-cloud, material or spiritual, the serene of our common all-embracing Heaven. One Heaven, the same for all, embraces that smoke-cloud too, adopts it, absorbs it, like the rest. Are there not dinner-parties, "æsthetic teas;" scandalmongeries, changes of ministry, police cases, literary gazettes? The clack of tongues, the sound of hammers, mount up in that corner of the planet too, for certain centuries of time. Berlin has its royalties and diplomacies, its traffickings, travailings; literatures, sculptures, cultivated heads, male and female; and boasts itself to be "the intellectual capital of Ger

1. Rahel. Ein Buch des Andenkens für ihre Freunde. (Rahel. A Book of Memorial for her Friends.) 3 vols. Berlin, 1834.

2. Gallerie von Bildnissen aus Rahel's Umgang und Briefwechsel. (Gallery of Portraits from Rahel's Circle of Society and Correspondence.) Edited by K. A.

Varnhagen von Ense. 2 vols. Leipsic, 1836.

3. Denkwürdigkeiten und vermischte Schriften. (Memoirs and Miscellaneous Writings.) By K. A. Varnhagen von Ense. 4 vols. Mannheim, 1837-38.

Our nine printed volumes we called Ger man Memoirs. They agree in this general character, but are otherwise to be distinguished into kinds, and differ very much in their worth for us. The first book on our list, entitled "Rahel," is a book of private letters; three thick volumes of Letters written by that lady; selected from her wide correspondence; with a short introduction, with here and there a short note, and that on Varnhagen's part all. Then follows, in two volumes, the work named "Gallery of Portraits;" consisting principally of Letters to Rahel, by various persons, mostly persons of note; to which Varnhagen, as edi tor, has joined some slight commentary, some short biographical sketch of each. Of these five volumes of German Letters we will say, for the present, that they seem to be calculated for Germany, and even for some special circle there, rather than for England or us. A glance

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at them afterwards, we hope, will be possible. But the third work, that of Varnhagen himself is the one we must chiefly depend on here; the four volumes of Memoirs and Miscellanies;" lively pieces; which can be safely recommended as altogether pleasant reading to every one. They are "Miscellaneous Writings," as their title indicates; in part collected and reprinted out of periodicals, or wherever they lay scattered; in part sent forth now for the first time. There are criticisms, notices literary or didactic; always of a praiseworthy sort, generally of small extent. There are narrations; there is a long personal narrative, as it might be called, of service in the "Liberation War," of 1814, wherein Varnhagen did duty, as a volunteer officer, in Tettenborn's corps, among the Cossacks: this is the longest piece, by no means the best. There is farther a curious narrative of Lafayette's escape (brief escape with recapture) from the Prison of Olmütz. Then also there is a curious biography of Doctor Bollmann, the brave young Hanoverian, who aided Lafayette in that adventure. Then other biographies not so curious; on the whole, there are many biographies: Biography, we might say, is the staple article; an article in which Varnhagen has long been known to excel. Lastly, as basis for the whole, there are presented, fitfully, now here, now there, and with long intervals, considerable sections of Autobiography;-not confessions, indeed, or questionable work of the Rousseau sort, but discreet reminiscences, personal and other, of a man who having looked on much, may be sure of willing audience in reporting it well. These are the four volumes written by Varnhagen von Ense; those are the five edited by him. We shall regard his autobiographic memorials as a general substratum, upholding and uniting into a certain coherence the multifarious contents of these publications: it is Varnhagen von Ense's passage through life; this is what it yielded him; these are the things and persons he took note of, and had to do with, in travelling thus far.

Beyond ascertaining for ourselves what manner of eyesight and way of judgment this our memoir-writer has, it is not necessary to insist much on Varnhagen's qualities or literary character here. He seems to us a man peculiarly fitted, both by natural endowment and by position and opportunity, for writing memoirs. In the space of half a centary that he has lived in this world, his course has been what we might call erratic in a high degree: from the student's garret in Halle or Tübingen to the Tuileries hall of audience and the Wagram battle-field, from Chamisso the poet to Napoleon, the Emperor, his path has intersected all manner of paths of men. He has a fine intellectual gift; and what is the foundation of that and of all, an honest, sympathizing, manfully patient, manfully courageous heart. His way of life, too erratic we should fear for happiness or ease, and singularly checkered by vicissitude, has had this considerable advantage, if no other, that it has trained him, and could not but train him, to a certain Catholicism of mind. He has

been a student of literature, an author, a student of medicine, a soldier, a secretary, a diplomatist. A man withal of modest, affectionate nature; courteous and yet truthful; of quick apprehension, precise in utterance; of just, extensive, occasionally of deep and fine insight,-this is a man qualified beyond most to write memoirs. We should call him one of the best memoir-writers we have met with; decidedly the best we know of in these days. For clearness, grace of method, easy comprehensibility, he is worthy to be ranked among the French, who have a natural turn for memoir-writing; and in respect of honesty, valourous gentleness, and simplicity of heart, his character is German, not French.

Such a man, conducting us in the spirit of cheerful friendliness, along his course of life, and delineating what he has found most memorable in it, produces one of the pleasantest books. Brave old Germany, in this and the other living phasis, now here, now there, from Rhineland to the East-sea, from Hamburg and Berlin to Deutsch-Wagram and the Marchfield, paints itself in the colours of reality; with notable persons, with notable events For consider withal in what a time this man's life has lain: in the thick of European things, while the Nineteenth Century was opening itself. Amid convulsions and revolutions, outward and inward,-with Napoleons, Goethes, Fichtes; while prodigies and battle-thunder shook the world, and, "amid the glare of conflagrations, and the noise of faling towns and kingdoms," a new era of thought was also evolving itself: one of the wonderfullest times! On the whole, if men like Varnhagen were to be met with, why have we not innumerable Memoirs? Alas, it is because the men like Varnhagen are not to be met with; men with the clear eye and the open heart. Without such qualities, memoir-writers are but a nuisance; which so often as they show themselves, a judicious world is obliged to sweep into the cesspool, with loudest possible prohi bition of the like. If a man is not open-minded, if he is ignorant, perverse, egoistic, splenetic; on the whole, if he is false and stupid, how shall he write memoirs ?—

From Varnhagen's young years, especially from his college years, we could extract many a lively little sketch, of figures partially known to the reader; of Chamisso, La Motte Fouqué, Raumer, and other the like; of Platonic Schleiermacher, sharp, crabbed, shrunken, with his wire-drawn logic, his sarcasms, his sly malicious ways; of Homeric Wolf, with his biting wit, with his grim earnestness and inextinguishable Homeric laugh, the irascible great-hearted man. Or of La Fontaine, the sentimental novelist, over whose rose-coloured moral-sublime what fair eye has not wept? Varnhagen found him "in a pleasant house near the Saale-gate" of Halle, with an ugly good-tempered wife, with a pretty niece, which latter he would not allow to read a word of his romance stuff, but "kept it locked from her like poison;" a man jovial as Boniface, swol len out on booksellers' profit, church, preferments, and fat things, "to the size of a hogs

"Visit to Jean Paul Friedrich Richter.-This forenoon I went to Jean Paul's. Friend Harscher was out of humour, and would not go, say what I would. I too, for that matter, am but a poor, nameless student: but what of that?

heal;" for the rest, writing with such velocity | nothing forced, nothing studied, nothing that (he did some hundred and fifty weeping vo- went beyond the burgher tone. His courtesy lumes in his time) that he was obliged to hold was the free expression of a kind heart; his in, and "write only two days in the week;" way and bearing were patriarchal, considerate this was La Fontaine, the sentimental novelist. of the stranger, yet for himself too altogether But omitting all these, let us pick out a fa- unconstrained. Neither in the animation to mily-picture of one far better worth looking which some word or topic would excite him, at, Jean Paul in his little home at Bai- was this fundamental temper ever altered; reuth,-"little city of my habitation, which I nowhere did severity appear, nowhere any exbelong to on this side the grave!" It is Sun-hibiting of himself, any watching or spring of day, the 23d of October, 1808, according to his hearer; everywhere kindheartedness, free Varnhagen's note-book. The ingenious youth movement of his somewhat loose-flowing naof four-and-twenty, as a rambling student, ture, open course for him, with a hundred passes the day of rest there, and luckily for transitions from one course to the other, howus has kept memorandums: soever or whithersoever it seemed good to him to go. At first he praised every thing that was named of our new appearances in Literature; and then when we came a little closer to the matter, there was blame enough and to spare. So of Adam Müller's Lectures, of Friedrich Schlegel, of Tieck and others. He said, German writers ought to hold by the people, not by the upper classes, among whom all was already dead and gone; and yet he had just been praising Adam Müller, that he had the gift of speaking a deep word to cultivated people of the world. He is convinced that, from the opening of the old Indian world, nothing is to be got for us, except the adding of one other mode of poetry to the many modes we have already, but no increase of ideas: and yet he had just been celebrating Friedrich Schlegel's labours with the Sanscrit, as if a new salvation were to issue out of that. He was free to confess that a right Christian ic these days, if not a Protestant one, was inconceivable to him; that changing from Protestantism to Catholicism seemed a monstrous perversion; and with this opinion great hope had been expressed, a few minutes before, that the Catholic spirit in Friedrich Schlegel, combined with the Indian, would produce much good! Of Schleiermacher he spoke with respect; signified, however, that he did not relish his 'Plato' greatly; that in Jacobi's, in Herder's soaring flight of soul he traced far more of those divine old sages than in the learned acumen of Schleiermacher; a deliverance which I could not let pass without protest. Fichte, of whose Addresses to the German Nation,' held in Berlin under the sound of French drums, I had much to say, was not a favourite of his; the decisiveness of that energy gave him uneasiness; he said he could only read Fichte as an exercise, gymnastically,' and that with the purport of his Philosophy he had now nothing more to do.

"

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"A pleasant, kindly, inquisitive, woman, who had opened the door to me, I at once recognised for Jean Paul's wife by her likeness to her sister. A child was sent off to call its father. He came directly: he had been forwarned of my visit by letters from Berlin and Leipsic; and received me with great kindness. As he seated himself beside me on the sofa, I had almost laughed in his face, for in bending down somewhat he had the very look our Neumann, in his 'Versuchen und Hindernissen,' has jestingly given him, and his speaking and what he spoke confirmed that impression. Jean Paul is of stout figure; has a full, wellordered face; the eyes small, gleaming out on you with lambent fire, then again veiled in soft dimness; the mouth friendly, and with some slight motion in it even when silent. His speech is rapid, almost hasty, even stuttering somewhat here and there; not without a certain degree of dialect, difficult to designate, but which probably is some mixture of Frankish and Saxon, and of course is altogether kept down within the rules of cultivated language.

"First of all I had to tell him what I was charged with in the shape of messages, then whatsoever I could tell in any way, about his Berlin friends. He willingly remembered the time he had lived in Berlin, as Marcus Herz's neighbour, in Leder's house where I, seven years before, had first seen him in the garden by the Spree, with papers in his hand, which it was privately whispered were leaves of 'Hesperus.' This talk about persons, and then still more about Literature growing out of that, set him fairly underway, and soon he Jean Paul was called out, and I staid had more to impart than to inquire. His con- awhile alone with his wife. I had now to versation was throughout amiable and good- answer many new questions about Berlin; her natured, always full of meaning, but in quite interest in persons and things of her native simple tone and expression. Though I knew town was by no means sated with what she beforehand that his wit and humour belonged had already heard. The lady pleased me exonly to his pen, that he could hardly write the ceedingly; soft, refined, acute, se united with shortest note without these introducing them- the loveliest expression of household goodness selves, while on the contrary his oral utterance an air of higher breeding and freer manageseldom showed the like,-yet it struck me ment than Jean Paul seemed to manifest. Yet, much that, in this continual movement and in this respect too, she willingly held herself vivacity of mood to which he yielded himself, inferior, and looked up to her gifted husband. I observed no trace of these qualities. His It was apparent every way that their life toge. demeanour otherwise was like his speaking; ther was a right happy one. Their three

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children, a boy and two girls, are beautiful, healthy, well-conditioned creatures. I had a hearty pleasure in them; they recalled other dear children to my thoughts, whom I had lately been beside!

"

"With continual copiousness and in the best humour, Jean Paul (we were now at table) expatiated on all manner of objects. "October 25th.-I staid to supper, contrary Among the rest, I had been charged with a to my purpose, having to set out next morning salutation from Rahel Levin to him, and the early. The lady was so kind, and Jean Paul modest question, Whether he remembered himself so trustful and blithe, I could not withher still?' His face beamed with joyful satis-stand their entreaties. At the neat and wellfaction: How could one forget such a per- furnished table (reminding you that South son?' cried he impressively. That is a woman Germany was now near) the best humour alone of her kind: I liked her heartily well, and reigned. Among other things we had a good more now than ever, as I gain in sense an ap- laugh at this, that Jean Paul offered me an inprehension to do it; she is the only woman introduction to one of, what he called his dearest whom I have found genuine humour, the one friends in Stuttgart, and then was obliged to woman of this world who had humour!' He give it up, having irrevocably forgotten his called me a lucky fellow to have such a friend; name! Of a more serious sort again was our and asked, as if proving me and measuring conversation about Tieck, Friedrich and Wilmy value, 'How I had deserved that?' helm Schlegel, and others of the romantic school. He seemed in ill humour with Tieck at the moment. Of Goethe he said: 'Goethe is a consecrated head; he has a place of his own, high above us all.' We spoke of Goethe afterwards for some time: Jean Paul, with more and more admiration, nay, with a sort of fear and awe-struck reverence.

"Some beautiful fruit was brought in for dessert. On a sudden, Jean Paul started up, gave me his hand, and said: Forgive me, I must go to bed! Stay you here in God's name, for it is still early, and chat with my wife; there is much to say, between you, which my talking has kept back. I am a Spiessburger, (of the Club of Odd Fellows,) and my hour is come for sleep.' He took a candle, and said, good night. We parted with great cordiality, and the wish expressed on both sides, that I might stay at Baireuth another time.”

"Monday, 24th October.-Being invited, I went a second time to dine. Jean Paul had just returned from a walk; his wife, with one of the children, was still out. We came upon his writings; that questionable string with most authors, which the one will not have you touch, which another will have you keep jingling continually. He was here what I expected him to be; free, unconstrained, goodnatured, and sincere with his whole heart. His 'Dream of a Madman,' just published by Cotta, was what had led us upon this. He said he could write such things at any time; the mood for it, when he was in health, lay in his own power; he did but seat himself at the harpsichord, and fantasying for a while on it, in the wildest way, deliver himself over to the feeling of the moment, and then write his imaginings, according to a certain predetermined course, indeed, which however he would often alter as he went on. In this kind he had once undertaken to write a Hell,' such as mortal never heard of; and a great deal of it is actually done, but not fit for print. Speaking of descriptive composition, he also started as in fright when I ventured to say that Goethe was less complete in this province; he reminded me of two passages in Werter,' which are indeed among the finest descriptions. He said that to describe any scene well the poet must make the bosom of a man his camera obscura, and look at it through this, then would he see it poetically.

seen in Hamburgh. Jean Paul said he at no moment doubted, but the Germans, like the Spaniards, would one day rise, and Prussia would avenge its disgrace, and free the country; he hoped his son would live to see it, and did not deny that he was bringing him up for a soldier.

The conversation turned on public occurrences, on the condition of Germany, and the oppressive rule of the French. To me discussions of that sort are usually disagreeable; but it was delightful to hear Jean Paul express, on such occasion, his noble patriotic sentiments; and for the sake of this rock-island I willingly swam through the empty tide of uncertain news and wavering suppositions which environed it. What he said was deep, considerate, hearty, valiant, German to the marrow of the bone. I had to tell him much; of Napoleon, whom he knew only by portraits; of Johannes von Müller; of Fichte, whom he now as a patriot admired cordially; of the Marquez de la Romana and his Spaniards, whom I had

These biographic phenomena; Jean Paul's loose-flowing talk, his careless variable judg ments of men and things; the prosaic basis of the free-and-easy in domestic life with the poetic Shandean, Shakspearean, and even Dantesque, that grew from it as its public outcome; all this Varnhagen had to rhyme and reconcile for himself as he best could. The loose-flowing talk and variable judgments, the fact that Richter went along, "looking only right before him as with blinders on," seemed to Varnhagen a pardonable, nay, an amiable peculiarity, the mark of a trustful, spontaneous, artless nature; connected with whatever was best in Jean Paul. He found him on the whole (what we at a distance have always done) "a genuine and noble man: no deception or impunity exists in his life: he is alto gether as he writes, loveable, hearty, robust, and brave. A valiant man I do believe: did the cause summon, I fancy he would be readier with his sword too than the most." And so we quit our loved Jean Paul, and his simple little Baireuth home. The lights are blown out there, the fruit platters swept away, a dozen years ago, and all is dark now-swallowed in the long night. Thanks to Varnhagen that he has, though imperfectly, rescued any glimpse of it, one scene of it, still visible to eyes, by the magic of pen and ink

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